PSU vs Syracuse: Football Eve Prediction

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IISeptember 11, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 22:  Darryl Clark #17 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after clinching the Big Ten title and a bid to the Rose Bowl after the game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 22, 2008 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

I spoke to a friend of ours who's going to the Texas vs. Wyoming game and I asked him if he was excited about the game on Saturday.

His quote? "It's only Wyoming". Methinks that a Tennessee fan might have said that on the eve of the Wyoming game last year. Didn't work too well for his team, did it?

Anyway, onto another team wearing orange: Syracuse, a basketball school with a basketball-playing quarterback who's now anchoring the Orange team.

The guys at Black Shoe Diaries are predicting that Penn State will rack up 48 points on the Orange, while the Orange will be lucky to rack up over 10.

This may well happen, but PSU has to sort out a few things:

1) The offensive line

It was great when Darryl Clark was passing—helped by Clark's mobility out of the pocket, but it wasn't great for Evan Royster with the running game. Syracuse gave up 112 rushing yards against Minnesota, which tells me that they aren't too shabby against a running game—although Duane Bennett isn't exactly Beanie Wells. If the offensive line can get better, then Royster can scorch the Orange.

2) Clark, Clark, Clark

By all accounts, Darryl Clark had a dreadful start to the Akron game and then warmed up as things went on. Clark has to start well, and Moye et al should sort out the rest. Syracuse gave up 248 yards against the pass last week—and Clark is better than Adam Weber.

3) Stop Mike Williams

The senior wide receiver can play. The Nittany Lions have to get their secondary sorted out (Astorino, Sukay) to shut down one of the Big East's best wide receivers. If they manage to do that, I'm not particularly worried.

Prediction: Penn State by 28


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